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Bishop's Stortford stretch Silver Leys victory run to five matches with win over Birmingham Moseley




Bishop’s Stortford 29 Birmingham Moseley 15 (National League 1)

Bishop's Stortford made it five wins in succession at Silver Leys in a run that stretches back almost three months as they recorded a bonus-point victory over Birmingham Moseley on Saturday.

The five points mean that Andy Long's men leapfrog Sale into ninth place with 46 points. They are just two points behind Cinderford and five points behind a trio on 51 points: Old Elthamians (5th), Blackheath (6th) and Darlington Mowden Park (7th).

Stortford are unbeaten at home since a one-point defeat to National League 1 high fliers Richmond on October 12. Saturday's win atoned for September's 34-32 reverse fixture defeat in Birmingham and consigned Moseley to their eighth successive loss.

The hosts made three changes to their starting line-up – all among the forwards – from the 23-16 defeat at Cambridge just before Christmas: Aussie Dan Elsom, who was a replacement in that M11 derby, traded places with Luis Ball, while Harrison King and Tom Lewis came in for Theo Dan, who dropped to the bench, and James Apperley respectively.

The first half was hard fought, with defences largely on top, despite both sides looking to play expansive rugby in ideal conditions.

Moseley went 3-0 up from an early penalty to Cliffie Hodgson, but Stortford stole the initiative with two tries, after 16 and 20 minutes, the first to Seb Brownhill, crowning an outstanding all-round game for the prop, and the second to Nick Hankin after great interplay out wide with winger Josh Stannard put the full back clear to the posts.

Scrum half Tom Banks converted the second try to take the scoreline to 12-3, but it was soon narrowed to 12-8 after a poor Stortford kick chase allowed the visitors to gather a box kick unopposed inside the opposition half and go through multiple phases before Louis Roach touched down out wide.

Stortford hit their straps as the second half progressed, with some excellent handling and support running producing two further tries. The first, to Kiwi Baxter Wilson, came after 45 minutes, but was cancelled out on the hour by a converted try to John Davetanivalu, as the visitors threatened to take back the initiative.

George Cullen calmed home nerves three minutes later with a penalty to stretch the lead to 22-15 and the fly half created the clinching bonus-point fourth try after 68 minutes with a pinpoint chip kick for skipper Sam Winter to catch on the full and plunge over under the posts.

Although Moseley battled to the end, Stortford ended the game very much on the front foot and could easily have bagged a couple more tries with a little bit more composure close to the line.

Bishop’s Stortford: Hankin, Stannard, Winter, Ayrton J, Ayrton M, Cullen, Banks; Brownhill, King, Harrison-Price, Thacker, Lewis, Elsom, Wilson, Kingham. Replacements: Dan, Castiglione, Ball, Duff, Mak.

Birmingham Moseley: Roach, Dight, Tonks, Davetanivalu, Smith, Hodgson, Arr; Titchard-Jones, Biggs, Tideswell, Worthington, Crofts, Lawrence, Dawes, Le Roux. Replacements: Tanner, Foreman, Xiourouppa, Stephens, Jolly.

SCORERS

Bishop’s Stortford – Tries: Brownhill 16, Hankin 21, Wilson 45, Winter 68. Cons: Banks 21 & 42, Cullen 69. Pen: Cullen 63.

Moseley – Tries: Roach 24, Davetanivalu 60. Con: Hodgson 61. Pen: Hodgson 3.

Referee: Joe James. Star man: Sam Winter, Bishop’s Stortford. Attendance: 385.

NATIONAL LEAGUE 1 RESULTS

Bishop's Stortford 29 Moseley 15

Canterbury 5 Rosslyn Park 38

Cinderford 3 Cambridge 8

Hull Ionians 7 Chinnor 54

Old Elthamians 28 Sale FC 21

Rams 27 Darlington Mowden Park 17

Richmond 19 Blackheath 8

Rotherham 32 Plymouth Albion 38


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